Friday, September 30, 2005

Last Constitution Hero

President Bush on signing Campaign Finance Reform legislation:

. . . the bill does have flaws. Certain provisions present serious constitutional concerns. In particular, H.R. 2356 goes farther than I originally proposed by preventing all individuals, not just unions and corporations, from making donations to political parties in connection with Federal elections.

I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished; and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment.

I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import in the months closest to an election. I expect that the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions as appropriate under the law.

Yet he signed the law anyway, only to see those things upheld in the courts.

Governor Schwarzenegger on vetoing the California gay marriage bill:

California Family Code Section 308.5 was enacted by an initiative statute passed by the voters as Proposition 22 in 2000. Article II, section 10 of the California Constitution prohibits the Legislature from amending this initiative statute without a vote of the people. This bill does not provide for such a vote.

The ultimate issue regarding the constitutionality of section 308.5 and its prohibition against same-sex marriage is currently before the Court of Appeal in San Francisco and will likely be decided by the Supreme Court.

When the head of an executive branch of government believes a piece of legislation is unconstitutional or presents even more constitutional problems to an issue clouded in murk, he does not sign it. That is the responsible course of action.

President Bush abdicated his executive responsibilities and handed this country campaign finance laws that are messier and more corrupt than ever with the advent of 503c groups. He did the easy thing to avoid negative press.

Governor Schwarzenegger has done the responsible thing, political blowback be damned.

Good for him.

h/t: MalContent